Motion control expected for Apple iTV

Scheduled for production

Apple's highly-anticipated new television, speculatively titled the iTV, is expected to respond to voices and hand gestures and enable the user to navigate without touching the screen.

A prominent analyst at US bank Jefferies, quoted in The Guardian, has said that Japanese electronics manufacturer Sharp has been commissioned to produce the screens from February 2012.

This follows several months of rumours, whipped up further in October when the US patent office published a filing by Apple for 'real time video process control using gestures', featuring motion sensors.

In the same month, the release of the iPhone 4S smartphone introduced personal assistant application Siri, which responds to voice commands.

A step forward in TV technology

There is already an Apple television, which is able to stream content from internet sources such as YouTube and iTunes - and rival brand Samsung also produces a television with internet capabilities.

Lesser-known manufacturer Hisense released a television in October that works with the Google Android operating system and has some limited motion-activated control; while Microsoft's Kinect technology, which links televisions to Xbox games consoles, boasts a handful of voice-activated features.

However, Apple's new design is expected to take television technology a step further, realising the dream of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs to create a 'seamlessly synched' set - something he felt he had managed to devise before his death in October, according to his authorised biography.

With regard to Jobs's intentions, the biography also stated: "He very much wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players and phones: make them simple and elegant."

Apple's patent filing included the ability to edit video by gesture and 'throw' it between devices, as well as the application of facial recognition.

Adrian Mursec, a senior developer at theEword, said: "The idea of a television set from Apple that integrates a range of services and controls is truly exciting, so it's no wonder there's been so much anticipation of it.

"However, as yet, there has been no official confirmation from Apple. For all we know, it could be even more revolutionary than people are expecting."